A Labor preselection spat over a Victorian upper house bid will play out before a Supreme Court judge, with a disgruntled firefighter hoping to dislodge a former emergency services minister.
Geoff Barker launched legal action against the Australian Labor Party arguing former minister Jane Garrett's preselection for Eastern Victoria did not follow proper process.
In court on Wednesday the case was scheduled for trial on October 18, just weeks before nominations close for the state's November 24 election.
Lawyer Michael Pearce SC, acting for Mr Barker, told the Supreme Court a hearing was "of the utmost urgency" given the timeline.
If Mr Barker is successful, Justice Maree Kennedy could order the preselection process to start again.
Ms Garrett is leaving her Brunswick lower-house seat, which is under attack from the Greens, for a safer spot in the upper house.
Her preselection was made possible when current member for Eastern Victoria, Daniel Mulino was made candidate for the new federal seat of Fraser.
Mr Barker, a United Firefighters Union member, will argue when Mr Mulino moved to Fraser he went against proper procedure by declaring he was unviable for the state seat, rather than just withdrawing his candidacy.
Labor re-opened nominations on a Friday and kept them open only until midday the following Monday.
It will be argued Mr Barker was working night shift and by the time he could submit his nomination - seven minutes after deadline - the party refused to accept it and Ms Garrett was the only nominee.
She has a long and tumultuous history with the firefighters union stemming from a protracted and nasty fight over new pay deals.
The battle saw her leave cabinet in 2016.
Premier Daniel Andrews would not comment on the case on Thursday and said party preselection was a matter for the state secretary.
"I've made it clear that Jane Garrett is an important part of my team and she's going to make a great contribution in the Legislative Council," he told reporters.
Opposition Leader Matthew Guy said Labor was "out of control" and turning on itself.
"We've said for years the UFU have acted like a pack of bullies particularly toward Jane Garrett," he said.